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Hear, hear.


Was there really ever a time when P.J. O’Rourke was funny?

I'm betting back in his Lampoon days...

After all, he co-wrote the Lemmings stage show and the Yearbook (both of which hugely influenced Animal House) and even if he wasn't as funny as Doug Kenney, I figure on sheer bullshit volume, *some* of his jokes had to make me laugh.

A little.


O'Rourke suffers from the same disease a lot of Republicans (although not the elected ones) do: a worship of Cincinnatus. "Citizen-statesmen" are the ideal; professional public servants are forever suspect. That's why they loved term limits and wrote the Citizen Legislature Act into the Contract with America. The fact that they failed to get a 2/3 majority as required for a Constitutional Amendment showed that the professionals really didn't like them.


I thought he was funny when I was in my 20s, then I heard him in person at a college where I was teaching. It's a very different experience when he's aiming his barbs at you, directly, as you sit there in his audience. It's even worse when the audience consists of a mixture of people laughing uproariously at his insults (and thus at you), and people like yourself sitting quiet and defensive. The remainder was mostly sophomoric anti-government stuff of the kind that college students eat up - no complexity, no subtlety, no evidence, just opinion delivered in a witty manner. It wasn't fun, and I've not been able to find him all that funny since.

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